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All New Monday Feature: Project Project Gutenberg

July 5, 2009

Once upon a time, I was a very new, very provincial, very naive graduate student in the English Department at Ohio State University.  Jane, whose last name I can’t remember, was in every way my antithesis:  tousled, world-weary, wreathed in cigarette smoke, so fabulously thin that her hipbones had worn holes in her perfectly-aged Levis.  And she had scored the coolest assistantship ever.  She sat in her own personal carrel in the Rare Books Room and wrote plot summaries of 19th- and 20th-century American popular fiction in the William Charvat Collection.

In Heaven, that will be my job. 

But why wait?  I’m hiring myself to read at least one novel a week from the glorious abundance of Project Gutenberg, and I’ll review them here.   To make it more interesting for all of us, here are some ground rules.

1.  No re-reading.  They have to be novels I haven’t read yet.
2.  In the spirit of the best elementary school reading projects, I’m starting at A and working my way through the alphabet–one novel per letter.
3.  Novels only, and in English.
4.  Titles chosen solely on the basis of screen appeal.  If I think a book sounds interesting, I’ll snag it.
5.  Reader beware!  There will be spoilers.  So if you’ve been scrupulously avoiding reviews of  Herman B. Vestal’s The Acid Bath, don’t take a chance.  Skip that post.

And this week’s novel, to be reviewed as soon as I’ve had a chance to finish it, will be:

At Last, by Marion Harland, New York, 1870.  It opens with a “ferocious” matchmaker, Mrs. Rachel Sutton, which is pretty promising.  Watch this space for more!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2009 5:12 pm

    This is the best idea ever. When I emerge from the toils of Thesis, I may copy it shamelessly.


  1. Project Project Gutenberg: A is for Average Jones « The Things That Make Us Happy Make Us Wise

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